Flicking, stacking, balancing, skill shots, trick shots, eye-hand coordination…are all staples of the dexterity board game. We are no stranger to these unique styles of tabletop games here at BGQ. They not only provide a break from the usually strategic, ponderous affairs of many of the games we play, but are usually pretty easy to get to the table. And with our newest Quest List, we decided to muse on some of our favorite dexterity board games. While it would have been easy to go with some of the staples like Klask, Ice Cool, Crokinole, or base Rhino Hero, for the most part, we tried to branch out with some games you might not have tried.
And when you are ready to take the plunge into dexterity board gaming, be sure to check out our quick 10-question quiz that helps you find which dexterity board game is right for you!
Best Dexterity Board Games
Chosen by Andrew:
For as long as I can remember, I would spend my evenings watching sports. Any sports. Curling at 2am? Sure. And you know what is better than watching curling? Tabletop curling with some cubes and a bouncy ball. That’s, essentially, Carreau. Players launch big wooden cubes with tiny wooden catapults. The goal: land it as close to the ball as you can. If you happen to hit the ball and move it, well, that’s just how it goes. When all cubes are launched whoever is closest will score points. With the added bonus that if you can manage to knock the ball off the board entirely you score three points for the round. It certainly helps that these are beautifully handmade wooden games, but the gameplay lives up to the production.
2-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 20 minutes • $40
Rhino Hero Super Battle (review)
Chosen by Dylan:
Sometimes, a game is marketed as a kid’s game, but you have little intention of playing it with kids. I, having no children of my own, have done this with Rhino Hero: Super Battle. While the original rhinoceros superhero game is simple enough to teach to younger kids, Super Battle adds just enough rules and balancing ability to make very young kids struggle. Even adults I’ve played with can have a difficult time. Having your own avatar to play as gives you an attachment to the characters (like Batguin. I love Batguin). The wall placement can be quite mean. And seeing the structure stand on the table is a marvel to behold (see what I did there).
Seal Team Flix (review)
Chosen by Tony:
There were so many games I could have chosen for this list as dexterity is one of my most beloved mechanics in board gaming. As fellow BGQers already nabbed some of my perennial favorites, I decided to pick a heavier game. Seal Team Flix, in addition to having a fantastic pun name, drops players in the shoes of an elite SEAL team trying to stop a group of terrorists. The game is fully cooperative, with the players using discs to represent their rifle fire. They must flick them at enemy standees to claim a kill shot. The enemies fight back using die rolls, so no worries about having to flick counterattacks. While the game is a bit heavier than your standard dexterity fair, it more than makes up for it with intriguing gameplay and lots of options, except to be shooting rifles, sidearms, shotguns, and even sniper rifles!
Catch the Moon
Chosen by Michelle:
If you were to ask me five years ago what my favorite dexterity game was, I would have probably said “Jenga?”, question mark and all. This was not a category I thought I would ever like and within the past couple of years, we’ve been seeing so many great options that this Quest List was pretty difficult to figure out for me. Charming themes tend to be the tiebreaker, so Catch the Moon beat out my second choice of Crokinole for the list this time (special thanks to Ruel Gaviola for teaching Crokinole at DTW last year). In this game, players are in a dream and trying to reach the Moon by climbing ladders. On their turn, the player rolls a die that gives them guidance on how their ladder must be placed: touching only one other ladder, touching exactly two other ladders, or so that the ladder’s tip becomes the highest point of the structure. All of the ladders in this game are oddly shaped so it is never straightforward or predictable how successful a ladder placement will be. If the player fails, the Moon is “saddened by their clumsiness” and sheds a tear. I have so many pictures and video captures of this game from the absolutely ridiculous, physics-defying placements that this has to be my pick for my favorite dexterity game.
Chosen by George:
Dexterity games are definitely not something I break out to the table very often but they definitely have a place on the game shelf. A few years ago I finally got to play Tokyo Highway in a hotel lobby at PAX unplugged. Suffice it to say it made an impression on me and showed me that dexterity games can be more than just waiting for a stack of blocks to fall. Having to adhere to strict building rules using popsicle sticks, wooden dowels, and cars made this game a bit different than others I had played up to that point. Overall, a solid light game to get on your shelf.
2-4 Players • Ages 6+ • 30 minutes • $60
Meeple Circus (review)
Chosen by Spencer:
If you’re going to name your game Meeple Circus, it had better be the most fun you can have with meeples. Meeple Circus lives up to its name and beyond. The drafting element adds some thinkiness that is not often seen in dexterity games. Normally, that kind of thing would weigh the experience down, but it’s integrated seamlessly here. Meeple Circus plays in 3 rounds, each building upon the last, and closes with a fast-paced stacking performance where all eyes are on you. Being a stacking game, Meeple Circus, of course, has those moments of laughter from structures falling apart and towers tumbling, but it also adds humor with the clever and ridiculous challenges in the final round. Expansions and promos add to the variety without adding to the rules explanation, and I am so grateful for expansions that can be added that easily. If there are other games that allow you to throw cardboard tomatoes at someone while they take their turn, I would love to know about them. Until then, Meeple Circus will remain one of my favorites.
Chosen by Chris:
When my kids were born, I immediately started ordering games to play with them that weren’t the standard things I played when I was a kid. I wanted them to be sophisticated little gamers with refined palates. “Candy Land? No thank you,” they’d say. “We’d much prefer a quick game of Twilight Struggle.” It turns out that kids can’t actually play games when they’re first born (who knew) so I ended up with a large pile of exceptional children’s games that didn’t get played for three years or so. One of the first games we eventually got to the table was Coconuts, a chaotic game where you launch tiny coconut-like balls into cups that are placed in a grid in front of you. Oh, and you use spring-loaded, backward-facing monkeys to do the launching. Do you know who ends up liking Coconuts even more than my kids do? Any adult we show the game to. It’s basically like someone redesigned beer pong for kids and then someone else took that design and reworked it again for adults. Even when my kids graduate to gateway games and (hopefully) heavy Euros, Coconuts is staying in our collection for good.